We took our students outdoors today for the first time in months. The sun was shining brightly, despite a forecast calling for rain and cold and possibly snow this weekend. The kids were psyched; they would’ve gone outside for class if it meant picking up garbage in the parking lot or pulling weeds from the garden near the school.
Our students were creating small models that displayed the angle of the sun as it shines on Albany, NY on the vernal equinox, which is two days away. They had calculated the angle of the sun inside our classrooms using models earlier this morning. Now they were outdoors, testing whether their hypotheses were correct. They were all mostly engaged and excited about what they were doing. Plus the sun was shining. And it was Friday afternoon.
Despite the complicated science work and some frustrations at trying to find true north, the kids were just loving being outdoors. There was no real rush to go indoors once most of the groups were done with their work.
It felt wonderful. I’m not sure if they realized how much the teachers were enjoying it too. I’m not their science teacher, and I don’t know the angle of the sun in Albany in the spring, or the summer or the fall. But I do know this: spring will be here in two days and the sun will be shining more and more as the school year nears its end. I plan on taking my students outdoors from time to time in my English and Social Studies classes…that’s going to be my angle.